The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2013

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On the Road A PEEK INTO THE DOUBLE GOLD-WINNING WINES AND SPIRITS ON THE ANNUAL DOUBLE GOLD TOUR by Megan Wieczorek PHOTO: LEIGH CASTELLI F all just may be our favorite season here at THE TASTING PANEL. Sure, it has something to do with the changing foliage, the arrival of much-anticipated harvest and, of course, the always welcome transition from skimpy beachwear to cozy sweater weather. But as tantalizing as these beacons of fall are, we must admit there's another reason we can hardly contain our excitement for the fall months every year: the Double Gold Tour. Winning a Double Gold medal at the San Francisco International Wine Competition and the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, the most reputable competitions of their type in the world, is no easy feat. During the competition, panels of the industry's most distinguished palates taste tens of flights over the course of several days, determining whether each glass is an accurate representation of the given varietal or spirit. In an entirely blind tasting, these judges are only given vintage, variety and proof, and do not receive any information regarding price point, appellation or country of origin. With a record-breaking 4,539 wines and 1,407 spirits entered in the 2013 competitions, the stakes were higher than ever for these brands hailing from all over the world. But days of sipping and spitting yielded an elite class of Double Gold–winning wines and spirits that stood out among the crowd this year. What to do with these rock stars of the wine and spirits arena? Take them on tour, of course! From the neon lights of the Las Vegas Strip to the sun-soaked beaches of Miami, each tour stop showcases the bright stars of this year's competitions, from industry legends to talented up and comers. "Our Double Gold Tour offers the top winners of both the wine and spirits competitions an opportunity to wave the winner flag across the country to 12 selected markets," explains Chandler Moore, Managing Director of both competitions. "We go on tour with these winners to promote the best of the show and to maximize these awards by providing this unique tasting experience to trade and media. No other competition provides this reach to industry trade as we do." So pack your bags as we take a look at life on the road in our first report on the 2013 Tour. The Tour's very own dynamic duo: Chandler Moore, Managing Director of the San Francisco International Wine Competition and San Francisco World Spirits Competition and THE TASTING PANEL's Director of Marketing and Events, Nicolette Teo. PHOTO: LEIGH CASTELLI The bottles have been uncorked and our glasses are lifted as we prepare ourselves for the best the beverage industry has to offer—and this ocean view at Cusp Restaurant in San Diego isn't half bad either. 118  /  the tasting panel  /  november 2013 TP1113_109-156.indd 118 10/24/13 9:16 AM

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